It is not unusual that footballers make promises of victory to fans then proceed to fall short and make their words ring hollow at crunch time, well, except if you’re Heartland FC striker Emmanuel Adachi of course.
The forward had assured all ‘Imolites’ of ‘maximum three points‘ ahead of their encounter with Dakkada FC in Owerri on matchday 12 but added the caveat that the game ‘will not be an easy game because its a live match’.
And not only did he deliver on the first, he was also proved right on the second point as the Naze Millionaires rallied from going behind to triumph 2-1 with Adachi on target in a pulsating match in Owerri on Thursday.
Fidelis Ilechukwu’s bid to make it five games without a loss for the home side looked to be in serious peril when Kokoette Udo put the visitors ahead five minutes before the break.
But Heartland rallied after the break and drew level when Adachi scored his fourth of the campaign eight minutes after the restart with Dakkada dealt a double whammy when Aniekan Okon Ekpe was shown a second yellow just a minute later.
Wednesday’s instalment of matchday 12 fixtures had seen a flurry of late goals across different venues, and in keeping with the theme, Heartland who were on the ascendancy with their extra man advantage managed to secure all three points when Kingsley Maduforo slammed home a 95th minute winner.
Promise made, promise kept.
With a third win in four games, Heartland climb to 8th with 17 points while Dakkada remain in 15th place on 14 points, just one clear of relegation trouble.
Meanwhile, bottom side Adamawa United got their first win of the campaign as they shocked Lobi Stars in Gombe.
Despite being the away team, Lobi were expected to come away with at least a point against a team that had managed just three draws all season.
But Adamawa United had other plans, holding out for the win after Stanley Nnanna scored what proved to be the winner in the 78th minute.
The win doubled their points tally for the campaign although they remain rock bottom and eight points from safety while Lobi stay 10th with 16 points.
And MFM interim head coach Olalekan Gabriel remains unbeaten two games into his tenure as his team backed up their win against Adamawa United at the weekend by holding Katsina United to a barren draw at the Muhammad Dikko stadium.
The shared points leave 14th-placed MFM and 16th-placed Katsina United level on 14 points and they are both just a point clear of the drop.
2020/21 NPFL MD12 Results
Heartland FC 2-1 Dakkada
Emmanuel Adachi 53’, Kingsley Maduforo 90+5’ – Kokoette Udo 40’
Adamawa United 1-0 Lobi Stars
Stanley Nnanna 78’
Katsina United 0-0 MFM